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How important is a brotform?

I don’t own any And the plan was to make our first sourdough loaf next weekend.
 
I use the woodpulp type of brotform, and I find they make things a lot easier for me. No cloth liner required. I dust the inside of the brotforms with rice flour, shape the loaves, put them in the brotforms, put the brotforms in closedplastic bags (large ziplock), and into the fridge for an overnight proof. In the morning when the oven is pre-heated, the dough goes straight from the brotform into a dutch oven. Maintaining the woodpulp brotform is easy too. Just let it dry if it is a bit damp, then use a brush to get rid of the rice flour. That's it, ready for the next bake.
 
I realized I didn't really answer your question, which was how important is a brotform. I would say essential for sourdough, assuming you are making a high hydration loaf. The sourdough I make is about 80% hydration. Without a brotform to help the dough keep some shape during proofing, I would likely end up with a pretty flat loaf.
 
I use the woodpulp type of brotform, and I find they make things a lot easier for me. No cloth liner required. I dust the inside of the brotforms with rice flour, shape the loaves, put them in the brotforms, put the brotforms in closedplastic bags (large ziplock), and into the fridge for an overnight proof. In the morning when the oven is pre-heated, the dough goes straight from the brotform into a dutch oven. Maintaining the woodpulp brotform is easy too. Just let it dry if it is a bit damp, then use a brush to get rid of the rice flour. That's it, ready for the next bake.
These appear to be out of stock everywhere. Darn it.
 

Isaac

B&B Tease-in-Residence
Moderator Emeritus
I like them to keep a good form. But if youre going for a rustic loaf, they arent really necessary.
 
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